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Free LIDAR Data From the OpenTopography Portal

The OpenTopography Portal is a GEON Project initiative to build an online system that provides integrated access to high-resolution topographic data, web-based processing tools, and enables the user community to share knowledge, experiences and resources

The OpenTopography Portal offers free downloads of LIDAR data in raw point cloud formats, processed DEMs, and Google Earth image overlays (reflectance):


Data resolution is typically at least one meter, and sometimes better than that. Biggest problem with the site now is sparse area coverage; they’re relying on voluntary donations of data, and so far, the overwhelming majority of data is earthquake fault zones in California:


There’s a smattering of additional data for Alaska, Washington, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona and Haiti, but only a small fraction of the US is currently covered. The site/project is still active, so hopefully additional areas will be added in the near future. At the very least, it’s a useful site for getting sample LIDAR data to play around with.

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1 Response to “Free LIDAR Data From the OpenTopography Portal”

  1. 1 NSF OpenTopography Facility

    Thanks for the post. Most of the data we host have been collected with NSF-funds for various Earth science research activities. There are quite a few datasets that will be appearing in OpenTopography in the next few months. We are also working on a number of partnerships and initiatives that should help to fill the map out in the coming 12 to 24 months

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